In the coming months, the school will be taking possession—under favourable lease terms—of the historic Oak Bay Guest House on Newport Avenue. With the support of the District of Oak Bay, the GNS Society Board and Foundation Board, sensitive renovations will transform the bed and breakfast into a home-away-from-home for 24 Grade 9 to 12 students and two staff and their families.
Our Family Boarding experiences have demonstrated the many benefits to be gained from inviting new perspectives to our community and from providing opportunities to learn more about other cultures. Currently, our Family Boarding is limited by the number of school families who are able and willing to bring other young people into the very heart of their lives on a full-time basis. Generally, the demand for places outstrips the supply.
The goal of this initiative is to strengthen our Family Boarding program by adding this family-style boarding option. We are intentionally committed to remaining, at our heart, a Day School with a small boarding component. Our current international enrolment is 35 students from a diverse group of countries. With this new facility, we expect this number to increase to 60, mainly in the Senior School. While the majority of our students are likely to be international, we also hope to attract students from BC and Canada who would love to have the GNS experience but live beyond practical commuting distance.
By the way, boarding is not new to GNS: both Norfolk House and Glenlyon Preparatory had live-in students in their early years. For an account of that, please read A Brief History of Boarding at GNS.
The opening of Gryphon House is an innovative and exciting new opportunity for the school to enrich our student experience as well as our broader community experience. We look forward to sharing further details of the program in the next few months.